Process Modeling of Global Soil Nitrous Oxide Emissions
Author(s)Saikawa, E.; Schlosser, C.A.; Prinn, R.G.
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Nitrous oxide is an important greenhouse gas and is a major ozone-depleting substance. To understand and quantify soil nitrous oxide emissions, we expanded the Community Land Model with prognostic Carbon and Nitrogen (CLM-CN) by inserting a module to estimate annually- and seasonally-varying nitrous oxide emissions between 1978 and 2000. We evaluate our soil N2O emission estimates against existing emissions inventories, other process-based model estimates, and observations from two forest sites in the Amazon and one in the United States. The model reproduces soil temperature and soil moisture relatively well, and it reconfirms the important relationship between N2O emissions and these parameters. The model also reproduces observations of N2O emissions well in the Amazonian forests but not during the winter in the USA. Applying this model to estimate the past 23 years of global soil N2O emissions, we find that there is a significant decrease in soil N2O emissions associated with drought and El Ni˜no years. More study is necessary to quantify the high-latitude winter activity in the model in order to better understand the impact of future climate on N2O emissions and vice versa.
MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change
Report no. 206
Joint Program Report Series;206
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